CE Certificate Programs

For the serious student-artist, CE offers Certificate programs to enhance your technical skills and professional presence through a curriculum of focused study under the guidance of expert faculty-artists.

Whether seeking to boost your personal or professional studio practice, build a foundation for undergraduate or graduate arts study, or lay the groundwork for a variety of arts-related occupations, PAFA's unparalleled fine arts instruction will propel you toward your artistic goals.

  • Individually tailored assistance in course selection.  Call the CE office for course recommendations that fulfill program requirements and best fit your needs.
  • Individual guidance and feedback on your progress.  Enrolling in CE Certificate classes for credit means that students receive additional attention and assessments of their work in the classroom.  A Faculty Advisor will be assigned to Certificate students for additional mentoring and critical advice.  
  • A flexible timeframe.  Requirements can be completed in 1 - 5 years. 
  • Access to PAFA Open Academy classes.  CE Certificate students may elect to fulfill Certificate requirements with eligible BFA and Post-Baccalaureate classes through PAFA's Open Academy Program.  Initial Open Academy application requirements (other than portfolio images) will be waived for students already accepted to the CE Certificate Programs.
  • Scheduled critiques with PAFA faculty.  Receive feedback on your work and progress as well as helpful insights for future development. 
  • Access to student support services. CE Certificates students may participate in career workshops and counseling through PAFA's Career Services.
  • A Certificate of Completion to commemorate your achievement.
  • Online Exhibition at the conclusion of the program and recognition at the CE Annual Juried Student Exhibition.
  • Complementary One-Year Alumni Membership.

Certificate Options

CE Eakins program

CE Certificate in Figure Studies: The Eakins Legacy

Designed for students who want to embrace the PAFA figurative tradition that began with Thomas Eakins as the core of their artistic practice.  Comprised of 12 required courses in drawing, painting, and sculpture, as well as a culminating self-directed study requirement, this curriculum provides students with a structured approach to exploring the proportions, anatomy and expressive possibilities of the human figure with an emphasis on observational practices.

CE Core Curriculum

CE Core Curriculum Certificate

If you're new to art, interested in taking classes but unsure of your direction, or returning to art after a long absence, the CE Core Curriculum Certificate is designed for you. Composed courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking, with additional electives in your areas of interest, this structured curriculum provides a firm foundation across fine arts disciplines.  The program culminates with an individual study program designed to promote independent thought and personal interest.  The CE Core Curriculum Certificate will help you discover your creative voice and move forward in your artmaking through a focus on observational skills, variety of materials and techniques, and personal expression.

Program Requirements

  • Each Certificate is composed of 8–12 CE courses, with options to fulfill requirements with Open Academy classes.  Course requirements vary by Certificate–see program descriptions.
  • Certificate programs culminate with an independent studio or other prescribed individual study program to promote personal interests.   
  • Courses must be taken for credit, which entails assessment for a grade based on attendance, participation, and quality of work.  Grading requirements vary by course/instructor.  Credits will appear on PAFA transcripts, available upon request.
  • Critiques and meetings with an assigned faculty adviser are scheduled at regular intervals, based on the rate of completed courses. 
  • CE Certificate students must complete their Certificate course of study within 5 years of their semester start date.  Resuming Certificate course requirements after this time limit will require reinstatement into the program by application and fee.

Contact Continuing Education

Thank you for your interest in PAFA's CE programs. Join our community of dedicated artists of all ages and skill levels:  Continuing Education offers exceptional studio art classes and workshops for beginner to advanced artists outside of PAFA's degree programs, available to both museum members and the general public.